Technical Classes Prepare Del Campo Students for Their Future Careers

FAIR OAKS -- A Del Campo High School class is preparing students for a career in broadcasting.

"They're doing more news packages. Capturing things going on here at Del Campo and abroad and then putting it together in a broadcast," said Brian Weitzel, the video production and broadcasting instructor.

The daily student-run broadcast is part of the San Juan Unified School District's rebranded ROP program called "Career Technical Education."

"There's a push actually nationwide to move more towards career-ready students," said CTE Public Safety Instructor Jay Powell.

After years of focusing only on college preparation for high school students, the district has been adding more curriculum to train them for specific careers.

"School sometimes, for those students who are not academically geared, could be boring," Weitzel said. "But when you find a passion in them, something that they're really interested in... I've got kids that want to make Youtube videos. Great, let's teach you the right way to do that."

Weitzel's broadcasting class is one of a handful of career-focused courses offered at several high schools.

"We've got fire tech. We've got police officer training. We've got computer IT training," he said.

Del Campo also offers a program for students interested in law enforcement.

"We do physical training with them. We teach them defensive tactics," Powell said. "We teach them arrest control. We do firearm safety."

After the students complete several classes in the program they are able to take internships in their career field, and eventually land a job.

"So they can leave here and go directly into a program," Powell said. "For example, I have three seniors from last year who are currently at the Sacramento County Sheriff's Academy."

But the CTE programs also give students, who do plan to pursue a higher education, more experience to add to their college applications.

"Now that I'm in this class, I'm like, 'Oh, maybe I'll want to pursue this,' and I've gotten an idea for what I want to do when I'm older," said sophomore Kellie Capps.

Capps told FOX40 anchoring a live broadcast every morning isn't just teaching her about the news industry, but she's learning a few life lessons as well.

"In real life, if you make a mistake, you just have to go with it and fix it as you go," Capps said. "You just have to keep going."